Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rage Contained and Maintained

Today I grabbed my writing beer, sat down at the computer, and began typing with the ferocity of those reporters you’d see in the old black and white movies. You know the one? The guy wearing a fedora, cigarette clenched between the lips, the typewriter dings and he hits the carriage return. He pounds out a few more words, quickly flips the carriage release lever, pulls the paper out with a zip and rushes his work to the editor. It felt good. Actually, it felt real good. But this is me I’m talking about. As I typed I began to notice that the words weren’t keeping up with my rate of typing. Was I typing faster than the word processor could keep up with? For somebody who types 45 wpm, at best, this was quite an improvement. I was staring at the screen in bewilderment when it happened: nearly all computer function ceased. No more words appeared. I couldn’t do anything. I moved the mouse around and began randomly clicking shit. People who know me know I have never claimed to be a techno-genius. But I’m also not a Luddite, though at times I long to be. Or at least I would like to emulate Ned Ludd. Today was one of those days. Several minutes went by with no apparent results of my clicking. I didn’t know where I was clicking because the mouse cursor decided it was break time too. After several minutes of pointless toil, I finally gave up on my quest to get the machine operating again. I sat back in the chair and drank my bottle of Firestone Walker 805 beer, hoping it would quench the burn of frustration threatening consume my otherwise positive feeling of finally sitting down to write after a two week hiatus.

At first I blamed my old nemesis Xfinity. I will blame Xfinity and their crappy service for every computer related issue I have for the rest of my days. But how could my shitty IP affect my word program? Rage threatened to overtake me. However, my resiliency in the face of uncertainty kept me within the bounds of rational thought. In other words I drank another Firestone Walker 805. *(In case you’re wondering why I keep mentioning the beer name, I am hoping for a delivery truck to arrive at my door in appreciation for the plug and free advertisement going out to the tens of people who read my blog every month. Not that I drink a lot, it’s just that I really like this Firestone Walker 805 and they only sell it in the 805 area code—hence the name. Unfortunately I don’t live in that area code. I live in Devil’s Tookus. It’s near that area code, but by near I mean a two-hour drive. And since, for reasons I do not understand, the brewery can’t sell it anywhere other than the 805 area code, I have to get it by driving there and running the booze across area codes like some kind of prohibition bootlegger. Can’t they just put a different label on it and sell it here? You may think to yourselves, “No beer is worth that kind of effort.” But to that I say “nay, you have not tried this brew.” It is the panacea and ambrosia which I have found that, in small doses, makes Xfinity, Devil's Tookus and Celine Dion marginally tolerable). [BTP] So thanks to Mister Walker I sat emotionless and motionless for an indeterminable amount of time. I managed a twitch and then after a second such span of time the letter ‘T’ popped up on the screen. What’s this? Something happened!  An ‘h’ followed the ‘T’! Finally, my computer showed life. An ‘e’! ‘The’. I had never been so happy to see a definite article. And then hell broke loose.
While in the midst of my earlier clicking fit I hit the red box close thingy at the top of the document. Apparently I clicked the close thingy on everything. All of the commands I had sent while my screen was unresponsive initiated immediately. Like the air in a whoopee cushion, it all farted out at once. All was lost. All was gone. My brilliant work, which I hadn’t yet saved, was gone. I checked my documents after my computer rebooted and all I had saved was one sentence. The sentence read, “A bad mouse.” I have no Idea what this means. Did I type it while floating away to the 805 area code? No idea.
It is unnecessary for me to recapitulate the tirade of words which I uttered when I realized what had happened. If I did, I would likely be banned from the internet and God would come down from on high and smite me where I sit. I don’t want to be smote, or smitten, or smatted.  At this point I felt what Ned Ludd felt when he smashed the crap out of those textile machines. I wanted to do just that to Dell and Microsoft, *(Is it just me or does Microsoft sound like a way to insult a part of the male anatomy?), but I need this machine to write the nonsense I write. I sat back, practiced deep breathing exercises, and a calmer head prevailed. I looked into what had happened and I learned that my computer had downloaded an update for Internet Explorer. Funny thing, I don’t use Internet Explorer. And why did it take so long to download? …Xfinity. I now know what Captain Kirk felt like in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan when he realized he had been outwitted by Khan Noonien Singh. My scream is still reverberating within the walls of this house. 
Be sure to follow me on Facebook and my website as I approach the launch of my novel 'Rise of the Penguins' due out late this year

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